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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


HARRY W. BRIMMER is one of the most widely known business men in the Rialto District, is the oldest real estate man there in point of continuous service, and is an acknowledged authority on land, agriculture and horticulture, particularly citrus culture.

Mr. Brimmer was born at Saukville, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, June 2, 1875, son of Porter and Elizabeth Ann (Wadsworth) Brimmer. On both sides he represents New England ancestry, the Wadsworth family having come to America in the early years of the seventeenth century. Porter Brimmer was a Wisconsin pioneer, was born in Jefferson County, New York, March 4, 1830, spent his boyhood there, and as a young man removed to Northern Wisconsin, where he homesteaded and cleared up some of the heavy timber to make room for his crops. Out of the virgin forest he created a good farm and home. Two years after locating there he married Elizabeth Ann Wadsworth, on January 13, 1853. She was a native of Wayne County, New York. They remained on their farm in Ozaukee County for thirty years, and in 1884 moved to Humeston, Iowa, and ten years later, in 1894, started for California, which for many years had been the goal of Porter Brimmer's ambition. He settled at Rialto, and before his death had achieved a reputation as a successful fruit grower. He was in every way a substantial citizen, public spirited, thoroughly honest and a strict prohibitionist. He purchased a young orange grove on coming to Rialto, and before his death had it in a profitable condition. His widow is now living at Long Beach, at the age of eighty-nine. The only daughter is Mrs. Amelia B. Kendall, and the three sons are Merton E., Harry W. and Arthur H., all of Rialto.

Harry W. Brimmer acquired his early education in a log schoolhouse in Wisconsin. He was about eight years old when his parents moved to Lucas County, Iowa, where he remained on the farm and also attended school, graduating from high school and from the Humeston Normal University. He was about nineteen when the family came to California, and his father gave him a ten acre orange grove, part of the Jordan place. He bestowed a great deal of study and hard work on this property, and became a practical and thoroughly successful citrus grower before he began handling lands as a dealer. He has been an active real estate man of Rialto for fifteen years. He has handled many large transactions, and is thoroughly conversant with conditions all the way from Fresno to the Mexican border. He has owned a number of orange groves at different times, buying and building up these properties and then selling them. He is a leader in both horticultural and civic affairs.

June 26, 1900, Mr. Brimmer married Miss Beatrice Dunn, who was born in Atwood. Ontario, Canada, and graduated from the high school of that city. Her parents were of Scotch and English ancestry. Her father was born at Stratford, Canada, in 1838, and died at Rialto in 1921. Her mother was born at Peebles. Scotland. January 24, 1841, and is still living at Rialto. The parents came to this section of California in 1895, and became orange growers here. Mr. and Mrs. Brimmer find a great deal of satisfaction and honest pride in their two sturdy sons, both of whom are splendid young specimens of physical manhood and possessed of the best traits of their Scotch ancestry. The older son, Lorne Wadsworth Brimmer, was born at Rialto June 23, 1901, is a graduate of the San Bernardino High School and is now in his second year at Pomona College. He has been a good student and also excelled in athletics, having been a member of the baseball, football and track teams in college. The younger son, Burleigh Hamilton, was born at Rialto December 4, 1906, and is emulating his brother both in his studies and in athletics. He is now a student in the San Bernardino High School.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011